The continued attacks on schools has created a national violence epidemic for which few solutions have evolved. This journey started with Columbine High School to the most recent shooting at the Colorado Charter School which left one dead and eight wounded.
Schools hope to avoid victimization by employing additional strategies. For example, Monroe County Schools have provided the additional strategies:
- School Resource Officers
- Mental Health Resources
- Hardening the Schools
- Drill and tips
- Additional guns in the school
The most recent shooting, May 2019, at the STEM School Highlands Ranch Charter School
two shooters killed 1 student and injured 8 others. Two are in serious condition. Officials told reporters that the youngest victim is 15 years old. There were no staff deaths or injuries; all victims were students. The reported student demographics were 67% White, 15% Asian, 11.5% Hispanic, and 5.4% multi-racial.
In May 2018, a school shooting occurred at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Ten people which included eight students and two teachers were fatally shot while thirteen others were wounded. The reported student demographics were 78% White, 19% Hispanic, 1% Black, and 2% other.
In February 2018, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a 19-year-old killed seventeen people and injured 17 others. The reported student demographics were 58.2% White, 21% Hispanic, 11.6% Black, 6.4% Asian, and 2.8% other.
In January 2018, at the Marshall County High School, a 15-year-old male student shot 16 people in the lobby and caused non-gunshot injuries to four others. Two 15-year-old students died: one killed at the scene, another died of wounds at Vanderbilt Medical Center. The reported student demographics were 97.4% White, 1.6% Hispanic, and 1% other.
In February 2012, at the Chardon High School, 17-year-old Thomas “T. J.” Lane, killed three boys and wounded three other students. One 16-year-old died immediately; two others died the following day. The reported student demographics were 94% White, 3% Hispanic, and 3% other.
In January 2011, at the Millard South High School, 18-year-old student, Robert Butler Jr., killed assistant principal Dr. Vicki Kaspar and wounded principal Curtis Case before opening fire at police in the front office area, causing the school nurse to be wounded by gunshot debris. The reported student demographics were 79% White, 10% Hispanic, 4% Black, and 7% other.
In March 2001, at the Santana High School, 15-year-old student, Charles Andrew Williams, killed two students, 14-year-old Bryan Zuckor, and 15-year-old Randy Gordon, and wounded thirteen others. The reported student demographics are 61% White, 25% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 2% Black.
A review of mass school shootings that resulted in fatalities of three or more persons in schools reveals that the student population is overwhelmingly White. Another factor that is important is that each reported student demographics of White students is followed closely by a Hispanic population that is larger than any other population in the school. This is important because European Americans have favorable attitudes toward Mexican Americans when compared to Blacks and are more likely to accept Mexican Americans when compared to Blacks due to Mexican Americans having a closer skin color to European Americans (Burmal, 1970). Therefore, the culture of these schools are closer to a culture dominated by White students due to incorporation of Hispanic students rather than a shared student culture.
Black students focus on justice and fairness (Locke, 1992) which is a primary aspect of social justice leadership. Social justice educational leaders define and create theories and practices that ensure greater opportunities for all children (Larson & Murtadha, 2002). Blacks students influence the student culture through conversations related to social justice as well as classroom projects. This helps White students get an opportunity to know the struggles of Blacks and have a greater opportunity to develop empathy for other cultures as well as their own culture.
Therefore, school leaders that are looking for other creative ways to end the trend of national violence need to develop a social justice school culture and need to help develop a culture that embraces and highlights the struggles of the undeserved and underprivileged.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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“Dr. Campbell did his part and now all we have to do is run with it.”
~ Tom Coleman ~
Woodstown-Pilesgrove Public Schools Superintendent of Schools
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President